And the Merriment Continues

Three fire trucks and a command van just left our house, and all we were trying to do was wash the dishes.

The Husband and Younger Son were upstairs getting ready for bed. I’d already brushed my teeth and washed my face and had come back downstairs to do a few yoga stretches. I was in Downward Writer when I heard three odd pops that were not coming from my knees or shoulders but from the kitchen. I went to investigate, thinking something had fallen off the wall…and found black smoke pouring from the dishwasher vents.

I hustled to the circuit breaker to shut off the power to the dishwasher, ran back upstairs to open a window, and when the smoke kept smoking and something started to glow red where there should not have been a red glow–because, hello, there was no juice going into the dishwasher–I phoned 911. Relatively calmly, if I do say so myself.

When the firefighters arrived, they quickly determined that two of the trucks and the command vehicle could return to the station. The firefighters who remained took apart the dishwasher’s very, very warm instrument panel, located the melted wires, determined that the emergency was over with, and went on their way after assuring me several times that I had done just the right thing by cutting the power and calling them.

At least it happened when we were at home.

And the firefighters were there when we needed them. We’ll remember that in December when the property tax bill comes.

And best of all, it was only the dishwasher, not the air conditioner.

© 2012 Anne Bingham and Making It Up as I Go

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16 Responses to And the Merriment Continues

  1. Anne M Leone says:

    Oh my goodness! Very very glad you were home. Good for you for so calmly dealing with the situation! At least it makes for a good story! 😉

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  2. Tim Eisele says:

    You know, this makes me even more nervous about dishwashers, seeing as how my wife’s parents had *theirs* catch fire a few years ago. Just how common is this, anyway?

    Given that I had to replace the control panel on ours three years ago because moisture had gotten into the electronics and ruined the old one, I suppose it’s actually a bit surprising that they don’t catch fire more often.

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    • Anne Bingham says:

      This one was well past its useful life, I think. It was a Consumer Reports Best Buy, but in retrospect, I think it was the last one on the floor when I bought it, so it was probably a year or two old at the time. I also suspect it was assembled first thing Monday morning, because things started to go wrong almost as soon as it was installed. There were two warranty repairs and one repair since then. So I’m glad to be done with it, frankly!

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  3. Oh, Anne, thankfully you’re all okay and all you lost was a dishwasher. We’ll now know you as Calm-And-Steady-As-She-Goes-Anne.

    I’m just about to write out the July half of my property tax check and do so with a renewed perspective…

    Great first line to the post, btw

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    • Anne Bingham says:

      The yoga studio I go to is right across the street from the fire station. Three times out of four the trucks go out on call while I’m in a class (firefighters are first responders for medical emergencies around here–I don’t know if it’s like that everywhere). Every time the yoga teacher apologizes for the noise, I think, “You’d have a different perspective if they were coming to your house.” But I’m never in a position to say that (“position” — get it?) and by the time class is over with, I forget. This week I’m going to remember.

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  4. Mirka Breen says:

    Oh, NO. I wish you less merriment and a more subdued week next. Must say though, that it’s all the commotion that makes stories (and blog posts) and so it’s not all bad. Costly, yes. But what a story.

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    • Anne Bingham says:

      Yeah, I agree. You can put up with a lot if you get a good story out of it. But I have a big freelance job tat needs attention because I need to have a rough draft ready by Monday and so far, things are not going well…not to mention my regular editing gig!

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  5. Katie M. says:

    Oh my, Anne. I’m so glad you were home and your house didn’t burn down. I had to laugh about the pop that was not your knees or shoulders. I’ve got that same issue! I hope you get a nice new dishwasher.

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  6. Older Son says:

    Glad everything turned out okay and that the dishwasher’s wiring problem was quickly diagnosed and contained. Unlike other appliance malfunctions caused by, say, Zuul the Gatekeeper of Gozer.

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    • Anne Bingham says:

      Maybe it was Zuul; there’s cats and dogs living together just next door. FYI: Granddaddy Joe just bought us a new dishwasher; be prepared to get qualified on it in August.

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  7. Terri says:

    So happy to hear all turned out OK and that the dishwasher was all that was lost. We’ve had some melted circuits in our dishwasher and oven. Thankfully, there was no fire and smoke associated with those events.

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    • Anne Bingham says:

      The heating element in our oven burned out several years ago, on Pentecost. Seemed appropriate, somehow. Can’t figure out what liturgical feast July 6 would have tied into, though; Maria Goretti doesn’t seem like the type to go around frying control panels {Catholic joke–too difficult to explain}.

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  8. Marcia says:

    Wow, so glad you were home and nearby!

    I was going to say that we have an eerily similar story involving the heating element in the oven, but you had THAT, too? BTW, my daughter embellished our oven event a bit and wrote about it for a class assignment (she torched dinner too, in her version, but that’s a lie, er, fiction), and it was a hoot.

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    • Anne Bingham says:

      Our Servant Electricity has a dark side, to be sure. Google “oven heating element catching fire” and you’ll never set it to preheat before you get home again. Or not for several weeks, at least…

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